what in the world is a dollar worth? well, since the 1970s, we've learned to let the markets decide, with a little help from its friends at the treasury department and finance ministries of the big industrial nations. what difference does it make? well, with imports, exports, and jobs here and abroad hanging on whether currencies go up or down, it makes all the difference in the world. what's ahead for the dollar? well, no one can say for sure, but you can bet there'll be more ups and downs, more attempts at international coordination, and, with the euro, a new and more powerful currency in world markets, a new and more powerful partner in currency coordination meetings. for "economics u$a," i'm david schoumacher.